AskDefine | Define dicta

Dictionary Definition



1 an authoritative declaration [syn: pronouncement, say-so]
2 an opinion voiced by a judge on a point of law not directly bearing on the case in question and therefore not binding [syn: obiter dictum] [also: dicta (pl)]dicta See dictum

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. irregular plural of dictum



  1. Form of Third-person singular past historic, dicter



es-verb-form dictar
  1. The second-person singular of dictar in the imperative.

Extensive Definition

In common law legal terminology a dictum (plural dicta) is any statement that forms a part of the judgment of a court, in particular a court whose decisions have value as precedent under the doctrine of stare decisis.
Conceptually, dicta are divided into two types. Ratio decidendi are those which form a part of the reason for the decision, and are binding as precedent. Obiter dicta are those which are not binding, but are merely editorializing, or explanatory. The word dicta standing alone is often used as a synonym for obiter dicta, although this usage is not technically correct.
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